A New York State of Fragrance

Rita Ora for DKNY MYNYIf your mind is turning towards Christmas shopping for the girls, remember that one of the new perfumes on the block is an ideal option for gal pals with a weakness for Mugler’s Angel or other similarly vanilla-led fragrances. DKNY MYNY (eau de parfum from £37 for 30ml), which  has Rita Ora (above) as its face, is a fresh yet sexy fragrance with a fruity top note of raspberries and galbanum spiked with pink pepper, a heart of jasmine, freesia and roots of orris, and a base note of patchouli, vanilla absolute and musk. And for its first Christmas, it comes in a great value gift set – £49 for a 50ml eau de parfum, plus a 100ml body lotion. For stockist information, call 0870 034 2566.

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Fabby Chic

Estee Lauder Modern Muse ChicModern Muse, Estee Lauder’s new fragrance of 2013, now has a bolder, more daring younger sister. Modern Muse Chic (from £45; www.esteelauder.co.uk) has – says Karyn Khoury, Senior Vice President of Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide at Estee Lauder Companies – a “dual-impression fragrance structure” which means that some women will be attracted to its bold floral accord “while others will be drawn to the dark sensuality” of its woody accord.

Personally, I’m not usually a fan of white flowers or vanilla – both of which feature in Modern Muse Chic. But it has definitely worked its magic on me and I’m finding both the fleshy white flowers (tuberose and stargazer lilies play their part in the top note) and the sensual patchouli, labdanum and musks of the woody base strangely appealing..

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Le Gloss, C’est Boss

Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss model shotActually, I’m not a natural gloss wearer, but Rouge Allure Gloss (£26; on sale from today), the latest one from Chanel could well make a convert of me – the range of vibrant, covetable colours is eye-watering. Rouge Allure Gloss is a sumptuous gloss with a lacquered effect that plumps up the lips and provides lasting shine while caring for the delicate lip skin thanks to the antioxidant complex it contains, which protect from environmental damage. Like its big sister, the Rouge Allure lipstick, it comes in a gold-tipped tube which you click at the tip to open. Tres chic, tres Chanel!

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Foundation Face-Off

Tom Ford Beauty Flawless Complexion model shotIt’s a bumper season for foundations with a trio of new additions landing on my desk all at more or less the same time. But, oh, what different results when they’re tested. The gold medal winner, by a mile, is Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation SPF15 (£62; worn on the model pictured), a beautiful creamy base which provides great coverage and longwear but has a completely natural finish. It contains Tom Ford Infusing Complex, a skincare element, which boosts the quality of the skin at the same time. It comes in 15 shades, and is part of a new range of Flawless Perfection concealers and foundation within the
Tom Ford Beauty collection.

I’ve taken to applying the Traceless Perfecting Foundation with my fab new brush – the Estee Lauder Sculpting Foundation Brush (£37). A strange-looking Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeupbrush with bristles of different lengths, it has been designed to be able to access the trickier areas of the face. It’s a delight to use and gives a lovely finish. It was launched at the same time as my silver medallist foundation for this autumn – Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup SPF25 (£37), another liquid foundation which feels lovely and boasts skincare benefits, notably anti-ageing (from the Perfectionist Serum) and hydration. I found that on my shine-prone combination skin, I need to wear powder on top; this is probably one for older and drier skins than mine. It’s available in an impressive 22 shades.

And the prize for most disappointing new foundation goes to Clarins True Radiance SPF15 (£27) – another base with skincare qualities – which I found to be thick, heavy and wholly unnatural-looking.


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Va-Va Volume

Big hair - older Deneuve b & wFor the second autumn-winter in a row, I feel drawn to the look of the mighty and magnifique Catherine Deneuve – at least as far as my hair’s concerned. (Deneuve plus the big-hairedmodel in the Elnett ads!) This grande dame of French cinema has sported some fantastic hair-do’s over the decades but her distinctive style – voluminous blonde hair, worn off her face whether it’s pinned up or hanging loose – has remained constant and has just been subtly tweaked  over the decades to reflect fashions, and to flatter her as she has grown older.

Creating volume can be a challenge – I’ve found it more difficult since I ditched the blonde highlights and opted for the gentler blonde tint. My hair is Ojon Volume Advance moussehealthier and shinier – but, unfortunately, the flip side is that it’s also floppier. And that’s where my latest favourite hair styling product comes in. Ojon Volume Advance Volumizing Mousse (£23; www.ojon.co.uk) is – for me – the stand-out in the recently launched collection of volumising products from the American haircare company. And I have actually found that it’s more effective when I haven’t used the shampoo (£18.50) and conditioner (£20.50) from the same range; a range which its creators describe – rather appealingly, for those of us with naturally limp locks – as being “like a mega-phone for the hair”.

However, different hair might benefit from a different combination of products from Ojon’s Volume Advance range which also includes a Thickening Spray (£20.50). And in case you need any further French inspiration, here is a selection of shots of la belle Deneuve from different stages in her life. Big hair - Deneuve Belle de Jour

Big hair - Deneuve 1960s

Big hair - Deneuve updo

Big hair - Deneuve recent

Big hair - Deneuve recent, laughing


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Mirror, Mirror

I’m currently reading a biography of movie star Barbara Stanwyck. She was not the most beautiful of stars but she certainly exuded sex appeal and knew how to get a guy – a trait she shared with one of her most memorable characters, the eponymous heroine in the glorious 1941 comedy The Lady Eve. I’ll be writing a Style on Film soon about this movie, the first in which Stanwyck wore high fashion, but in the meantime, here’s a wonderful clip which shows why a single gal should never be without a mini mirror … 


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(She Wore) Purple Velvet

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid model shotYou’ve got to hand it to Tom Ford: he creates the most beautiful perfumes, bestows the most gorgeous names on them, and presents them in the most sensual bottles…. His latest creation, Velvet Orchid (in stores from September), is no exception – though I have to say, I don’t care for the advertising image that accompanies it (above).  I didn’t know Tom Ford had a line in wrapping paper …

Still, you buy perfume for the scent don’t you? And this one is an especially voluptuous, creamy heady and feminine scent which, says Ford, takes the DNA of the original black orchid flower into new territory. The woods and spices of the original fragrance fade into the background behind an ultra-feminine floral veil.

Fresh top notes of Italian bergamot and mandarin orpur are offset by the sweetness and warmth of honey and vanilla, while the floral heart fuses everything from jasmine and rose to Tom Ford’s signature Black Orchid accord. The woody, fleshy base of the fragrance is intensely rich, warm and sensual. This is a head-turning fragrance for confident or confidence-seeking women..

Prices for Tom Ford Velvet Orchid eau de parfum start at £72 for 1.7oz.

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